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Library Renovation and Expansion Project Timeline
2008: The St. Charles Public Library Board of Trustees voted to approve a commitment to expand the Library building in the coming years. It was determined that an expansion was necessary in order to better serve the growing and changing population of St. Charles. The current Library building was designed in the mid-1980s to serve a district population of 45,000 up until the mid-2000s before requiring a renovation. At this time, the Board of Trustees came to the determination that the Library would not have enough space in its current arrangement to continue to meet the needs of the growing number of Library cardholders, and began to explore options for expansion and renovation.
Late 2008: The Library began the process of acquiring surrounding properties with the intention of adding more parking spaces and the possibility of a future building expansion. These properties are located on the block between Sixth and Seventh Avenues and between Walnut and Illinois Avenues.
November 2010: The St. Charles Public Library went to referendum, asking for approval for a tax increase that would fund a $35 million bond issue for a complete renovation, expansion, and technological overhaul project that would have resulted in the Library more than doubling its size. The referendum was unsuccessful, and the concept plans were placed on hold. The Library’s Board of Trustees went back to the drawing board to begin the process anew.
2013: Under a new Library Director, concept plans were put together for a revised renovation plan and modest expansion. The plans were placed on hold by the Board of Trustees again due to the projected construction cost being over budget.
2014: Based upon previous concept plans, the St. Charles Public Library underwent a small-scale renovation project with a special focus on core upkeep and modernization. The renovation brought improvements to such spaces as the main lobby and staircase, the Young Adult loft area, Youth Services, the Reader Services Desk, and the Reference Desk. Computer stations were added in multiple areas, much of the carpeting was replaced, and stacks and displays were rearranged for better usage of the Library’s space. The Board of Trustees voted to approve new goals for what should be included in future plans for the Library.
2017: Under current Director Edith G. Craig, the St. Charles Public Library’s Board of Trustees and staff began the process of updating the Library’s strategic plan. This process included holding community input sessions, focus groups, interviews, a survey, and other feedback tools to be able to create an accurate roadmap for the next four years.
2018: The St. Charles Public Library adopted its new four-year strategic plan. At the center of this strategic plan are the core values of patron-centric, stewardship, excellence, and innovation. With the guidance of this new plan, the Board hired Sheehan Nagle Hartray Architects to begin assessing our current space needs and the condition of the existing Library building.
Through this process, the Board, staff, and consultants began work on a new concept plan for a renovation and modest expansion of the St. Charles Public Library. In conjunction with our consultants, the Library began to hold meetings with community stakeholders to develop an updated plan that would fall within the Library’s budget that had been set aside through the special reserve funds.
January 9, 2019: After receiving preliminary cost estimates provided by our consultants, the Library’s Board of Trustees voted to approve a project budget of $18.6 million to include a full renovation of the building, a new site plan addressing parking and the addition of green space, and a modest expansion of less than 10,000 square feet. Seventy-three percent of the project will be paid for through the Library’s special reserve fund.
January 29, 2019: The Finance Committee met to discuss various funding tools for the remaining $5 million.
March 13, 2019: The Board of Trustees met to finalize and award contracts for renovation work. Contracts were awarded to Shales McNutt for construction management services and Kendall Excavating for demolition of the Library-owned properties on S. Sixth Avenue in accordance with the Library’s site plan. This work is expected to get underway by the end of June of this year.
The Board also approved issuing of debt certificates to fund the remaining $5 million. The bonds will be paid off over the course of several years, and will not result in any tax increase. View the Bond Issue Timetable 2019.
March, 2019: The Board of Trustees met to finalize and award contracts for renovation work. Contracts were awarded to Shales McNutt for construction management services, Sheehan, Nagle Hartray Architects for architectural services and Kendall Excavating for demolition of the Library-owned properties on S. Sixth Avenue in accordance with the Library’s site plan.
April, 2019: The Board approved an ordinance to issue debt certificates to fund the remaining $5 million. View the Bond Issue Timetable 2019. Planning is underway to begin the schematic design process. Community meetings and tours are being scheduled for this summer to invite patron participation during this process.
May, 2019: The properties across from the Library on S. Sixth Ave. were demolished in accordance with the Library's site plan. This will add more green space to the Library property in order to create a more "campus-like" feel, and allow for the expansion of the Library's parking lots, as well as landscaped and garden areas.
June 12, 2019: The first concept plans for the exterior of the new Library building were presented to the Board of Trustees. The Board voted to approve the option of pursuing a partnership with School District 303 for the temporary relocation of the Library to the former Haines Middle School building. Moving the Library offsite will allow the Library to continue to meet the community's needs and provide core services, while simultaneously expediting the renovation process.
August 5, 2019: The School District 303 Board of Trustees voted to approve an intergovernmental agreement to allow the Library to utilize the Haines Middle School building as a temporary location between March 1st, 2020 and May 3rd, 2021.
September 11, 2019: The Library's Board of Trustees approved the intergovernmental agreement to use Haines Middle School building.
The Board will work with the architects to finalize the new building's concept plans, including exterior design. The Library will then present the final plans to the City of St. Charles for consideration and to begin the PUD and permitting process for the temporary use of Haines and renovation project.